A law designed to prevent the UK crashing out of the EU next month cleared another hurdle after the government announced a late-night breakthrough in the Lords.
The legislation to delay Brexit in order to prevent a no-deal departure – a bill prime minister Boris Johnson said would “scupper negotiations” – passed all stages in the Commons on Wednesday.
There were fears the Bill could have been stalled in the Lords, with Labour peer and leading lawyer Baroness Kennedy of The Shaws accusing Tory peer Lord True, who had submitted a raft of amendments to the motion, of time-wasting.
The Lords sat until 1.30am on Thursday when chief whip Lord Ashton of Hyde said all stages of the European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 6) Bill will be completed by 5pm on Friday.
“We have also received a commitment from the chief whip in the House of Commons that Commons consideration of any Lords amendments will take place on Monday and it is the Government’s intention that the Bill be ready for Royal Assent,” he told peers.
The late night debate capped a day of high drama in Westminster where newly appointed Prime Minister Boris Johnson was defeated over a backbench Bill on Brexit and a plan for a snap general election.
Johnson had called for a poll to be held on October 15 but Labour and other opposition MPs refused to back the bid – which needed a two-thirds majority in the Commons – while the risk of no-deal remained.
The Government failed to secure the support of two-thirds of MPs, with the Commons voting 298 to 55 – 136 short of the number needed.
The Labour leader said the Bill must be passed through the Lords and have received Royal Assent before he would entertain the thought of heading to the polls.
He said: “Let the Bill pass and have Royal Assent and then we can have a general election.”
Meanwhile, Johnson was facing continued criticism after Tory MPs – including two former chancellors and the grandson of Winston Churchill – had the party whip withdrawn because they rebelled by helping the effort to prevent no-deal.
The PM defended the move, telling ITV’s Peston: “These are friends of mine and believe me I take absolutely no joy in any of it but it was very sad and surprising that they should choose to undermine the UK’s ability to get a deal.”
On Thursday, Johnson has a busy schedule, including separate meetings with Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu and US Vice President Mike Pence in Downing Street.
We need your help to keep speaking the truth
Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.
Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.
We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.
In return, you get:
* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop
Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.
With your help we can continue:
* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do
We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?